Sunday, November 25, 2012

Qualifications versus duties: Why knowing the difference matters

Reading through this article gave me some good ideas to use in both my resume and performance review.

"Some job seekers have problems selling their skills. They list their basic duties, which most job seekers have in common. You can stand out in a job search by positioning those skills so they set you apart.

Think of how a salesperson sells a car. He doesn't tout the fact that the car has four wheels, windows and functioning lights, because you'd expect that from every car. Instead, he sells the unique points of the car -- design, safety, mileage -- all of which make the car appealing to a potential buyer."

Any ideas??? Leave comments.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

PCB Manufacturing Quality: Do You Get More Than You Pay For?

I like how this article demonstrates how all departments and disciplines need to work together throughout the whole design and development of a product.


By Nolan Johnson, CAD/EDA Manager, Sunstone Circuits

How efficient is your PCB manufacturing designer? When a design team puts their first prototype onto the workbench for testing and verification, the team must simultaneously debug the following:
• The concepts in the schematic design
• The layout’s implementation of the concepts
• The behavior of any firmware/software onboard
• The ability of the chosen parts to interact as expected from the component datasheet documentation, functional specifications, and schematic-driven simulation data
• The fabricator’s ability to manufacture what the layout instructed them to build

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Indeed Job Alerts for today.

Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Lab 2 reviews - Laurel, MD
Develop and document schematic drawings, test plans, test procedures and test reports. Demonstrated leadership traits such as strong technical capability, clear...

Johns Hopkins University/AppliedPhysics Lab 2 reviews - Laurel, MD
Develop and document schematic drawings, test plans, test procedures and test reports. Demonstrated leadership traits such as strong technical capability, clear... - 3:21 PM

Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Lab 2 reviews - Laurel, MD
Design and simulation of FPGAs for spacecraft applications using VHDL, with a focus on radio applications using digital signal processing (DSP).... - 3:43 PM

Radwell International - Lumberton, NJ
We are seeking motivated individuals to repair industrial controls, i.e. servo motors, printed circuit boards, timers, counters, PLCs, drives, monitors and...
Monster - 1:05 PM

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Are Guard Traces Necessary?
I like the way Dr Johnson explains guard traces and how they work and where to apply them. But there are no hard numbers in this article. Maybe too technical and maybe there's too many variables, but numbers help the argument. I still hear that guard rings should still be used even with a solid ground plane.
Has anyone done a study where they have actual hard numbers showing this one way or another?

IPC Names Mitchell President and CEO
.................IPC has appointed John W. Mitchell president and CEO, effective April 23.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Coming Back to America

Has your company outsourced your projects off shore? Has your company talked about bring projects back to North America? Has your company kept your project in the US? What are your reasons for doing this? Given all expenses for the project is it really cheaper to outsource projects off shore as opposed to keeping them in the United States?
I'm interested in any comments posted below.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Has anyone seen the next generation of PCB designers?

It's interesting to see that my own frustrations are more common than not. There seems to be an underlying attitude among EEs that since I don't have that piece of paper I can't possibly be capable of understanding or handle anything electronics. Having collected a lot of information and knowledge over the years I've gladly shared this with Engineers, but later find the same information coming back to me as their input, ideas and requirements. I bought the farm, gave away the milk, and now being asked to buy it back again.

Where I work there are two designers left. Both of us are mid 50's and both will probably retire at the same time. As more and more responsibilities are being taken away from us and given to less technical positions I do see there is no intention of replacing us.

Still trying to figure out how to sell the milk. The more helpful I try to be the more I can't help thinking we're undermining our own positions.

Where's the next generation coming from or going to be?

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Predictability for PCB Layout Density
Great article, but has anyone used this soeftware?? I can usually tell what's going to happen by looking at it. Maybe that's just experince.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

US State Department might remove printed circuit boards from the ITAR Control List

I find this editorial enlightening. Even as a designer of commercial PCBs I've found many deficiencies in "cheap" boards coming from overseas. Military reliability is far more important and the control of the PCB is far tighter and stricter. It's one thing if your iPhone or TV doesn't work properly, but in a combat situation the same reliability is not effective when lives are depended on it. Not all PCBs or material that make PCBs or the shops that make PCBs are the same. This must be inspected rigorous and often to insure the quality and performance needed. This is where the money is being spent and should continue to be spent. It's too easy to slip in counterfeit material and workmanship into PCBs. Quality Control is ongoing and continuous.

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Monday, April 9, 2012

What happens when you skips steps in vendor approval

Somehow we’ve started using a new vendor for production boards that does not adhere to our PCB Vendor specifications. Some of the requirements we have in our spec are a little out of date and some items we are use to having are not in the current spec. A reevaluation of the spec was needed. We also had to change the way we do incoming inspection. Previously we received photo plots of the board layers for QC to compare to incoming boards. Generally this is no longer an industry standard practice. We’ve changes this to QC inspection only using the fabrication drawing and a silkscreen plot to compare to the boards coming in. How boards are marked to UL and Electrical Test was not clear either. This was changed so that all boards must be permanently marked as passing the electrical test. We did get the changes in the current documentation with little effort and distributed it to all the departments who are involved. Now we have to figure how a vendor was selected and used for production without going through a vendor approval process.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

North American PCB Order Are Up

Ok, so I'm not an economist. One part says it's up the other says it's down. This all seems to depend on what statistics you look at. More money rolling into US companies? More jobs in US companies?
What do you think?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Interesting “Gotch ya’” In PCAD 2006

I was giving a schematic in PCAD from and Engineer with all the usual information. Nothing out of the ordinary. After defining all the mechanical requirements I loaded the netlist into the pcb file. The components were loaded and I placed and routed the board without any issues.
After everything was done, the Gerber files created, the Pick and Place created and the Bill of Materials created and distributed. Something unusual did crop up. The CPU. U1, was not on the Pick and Place file. It was on the BoM and all the components parts needed for this to happen were there and in place.
When I looked at which library the component was coming from I notices the schematic had it coming from one location and the PCB had it coming from another. I looked at the components in those libraries and they were identical, it just that the libraries were in a different order in the SCH than the PCB programs. Easy to fix I moved the library the schematic used up in priority in the PCB program and did a Force Update on that component in the PCB file. That’s all it took and the problem was solved.
But the mystery still remains why this happened. Why did this one component show up in the Pick and Place, but not in the Bill of Material?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

South Korean firm Mando to open facility, bring 426 jobs to Georgia  |
It looks like a change in economic tide. They've done this before. Looking forward to a follow up and see what this looks like in one and two years.
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